Throughout the month of May, the RNLI is asking the public to ‘give it some welly’ and answer their Mayday fundraising appeal.
Last year, veteran marathon runner, Mary Nolan Hickey (65), raised €72,000 when she ran the coastline of Ireland. This year she swaps feet for wheels and will start her cycle circumnavigation from Arklow, Co Wicklow, to raise €100,000.
“People think I’m mad doing this but I have unfinished business for the lifeboat crews. I had no idea of the support I would get when I started,” remarked Mary.
In 2018, they launched 995 times, bringing 1,351 people to safety and directly saved the lives of 18.
Crewmember and comedian PJ Gallagher said he knows “first hand” the commitment it takes:
“Our crews drop everything when their pagers go off to launch the lifeboat and head out to help those in trouble. Our lifeboat crew kit gives us the confidence to face all weathers and conditions, day or night.
“The right kit is vital in helping to make sure we do what we are trained to do and that we bring everyone home safely.”
The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The organisation is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 it has saved over 142,000 lives.